EDS & Academy

Ben Knight eyeing fast start to long-awaited PL2 season

Ben Knight eyeing fast start to long-awaited PL2 season
Ben Knight says he and his City EDS colleagues are eager to make up for lost time ahead of the start of the new Premier League 2 season on Saturday at home to Derby (1pm).

With a new head coach at the helm in Enzo Maresca and buoyed by Tuesday’s impressive 3-0 EFL Trophy win at Mansfield, Knight and Co are excited by the new league campaign.

The last two seasons have proved inconsistent affairs for what was a youthful, inexperienced City squad.

There will be a youthful look to the EDS squad once more this term, but Knight says there is a collective determination to put the record straight.

And the  winger insists, following more than 190 days without a league game due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a new head coach at the helm, the EDS squad will be armed with an even greater desire to impress and succeed.

“We are all looking forward to the season and I’m really excited about working under Enzo,” said the England Under-18 international.

“It’s someone new and I’ve heard really good things about him so it will be really good to work under him and I think everyone is looking forward to it.

“We know we have underperformed in PL 2 for the past few years. Although we have a young team we know what we can do and there’s a bit of extra incentive there for us all.

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“Pre-season has been good, and I think we’ve all done pretty well.

“Our team will be young again – there will be a lot of second year scholars and 1st year pros. So the players will be 17, 18 or turning 19 and we’ll be against first team fringe players who are 20/21.

“In the last few seasons, we’ve always been competing at mid table to low table – not the top end.

“This year we want to do really well so there’s that little bit more drive to prove that young teams can do well. I think there is no reason why we can’t.

“Just for the confidence boost it’s important to try and start well so you can then try and kick on from there knowing that we can do it.

“Our first game is against Derby and they are always tough so that will be a good test for us.”

Knight, in common with the rest of the EDS squad, says linking up once again with his team mates in August after four months in lockdown only helped make him appreciate football all the more.

The 18-year-old says the long-enforced period spent at home at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic also gave him a greater appreciation about life in general.

And one of the by-products was a discovery of the joys of golf!

“Lockdown was obviously not normal but it was the same for everyone, so we just had to deal with it,” Knight reflects.

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“For me I find it quite hard not doing anything – I always like to be active so I got into golf and it has been really good for my mindset.

“It’s about being calm and not worrying about anything. I only started playing golf in the past four months, but I’ve got addicted.

“It’s a nice way to get away from football – obviously that’s the most important thing – but I do my training and then if it’s the right time to play golf I try to play or just chill in my apartment.

“Lockdown made me realise that life isn’t all about football.

“It obviously is the most important thing but there are other things you can do in life as well. It’s about not being defined by football – about being a normal human too and I’ve really enjoyed doing new things.

“It has made me appreciate not only football a lot more but life. Seeing people struggling and those who have been so ill you have to thank your lucky stars that’s not you.

“Everyone has been in the same boat worldwide. I’m lucky enough to be good at football and I get to do what I love every day but for other people it’s not the same way.

“It has made me thankful and very happy to be back.”

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